Attorney General Jeff Landry Warns Consumers to Beware of Misleading Tobacco Settlement Ads
BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is warning the
public of online promotions that mislead consumers to believe they can receive
money from a settlement reached between the nation’s four largest tobacco
companies and attorneys general from 46 states and territories.
“It is important for consumers to understand that if an
advertisement sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” said General Landry.
“Louisiana consumers should be on guard that if a promotion is promising free
money, it may not be legitimate.”
General Landry’s Office has received numerous inquiries
about online promotions claiming individuals can sign up to receive Master
Settlement Agreement (MSA) payments. The advertisements mislead consumers to
believe that they can claim thousands of dollars per month from the tobacco
settlement through a special program.
“While these ads emphasize claiming and receiving funds,
the truth is consumers are actually prompted to purchase a subscription in
order to learn more about how to receive the money,” added General Landry. “The
order form asks consumers for their personal information and a credit card
number; and as we often warn – once consumers provide credit card numbers, it
may be difficult to cancel and obtain a refund.”
General Landry wants Louisiana consumers to know that
despite a promotion’s assertion, settlement funds obtained through the MSA are
not available to individuals. The Louisiana Legislature dedicated our MSA
revenue to the Millennium Trust, which supports the Taylor Opportunity Program
Scholarship (TOPS), as well as the Louisiana Fund; these monies are dedicated
to the health and education of our citizens.
For more information on the Tobacco Master Settlement
Agreement, please contact General Landry’s Tobacco Enforcement Unit by phone at
800-241-9311 or by email at TobaccoDOJ@ag.louisiana.gov. And consumers who have received these
advertisements and wish to file a complaint may do so by calling General
Landry’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-351-4889 or by visiting www.agjefflandry.com.